To earn the distinction, colleges must demonstrate results across four distinctions -- Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community and Successful Outcomes. High school counselors and educators make nominations and each school is evaluated on key indicators including student engagement, student empowerment and curricular innovation. Colleges that have distinguished themselves in each of the four distinctions and that have demonstrated dedication to enriching student outcomes through innovative learning opportunities are then invited to join Colleges of Distinction.
The annual process to select the nation's Colleges of Distinction also includes a review of each institution's freshman experience, as well as its general education program, strategic plan and alumni success and satisfaction measures.
"Colleges of Distinction provides more than just a ranking or a tally of test scores. We identify colleges that offer every student an educationally rewarding experience," said Tyson Schritter, executive editor for Colleges of Distinction. "The Colleges of Distinction have earned solid reputations for nurturing and serving their students across every measure."
Schritter noted that students increasingly demand access to hands-on learning, and SUNY Oswego provides it. Oswego students earn college credit and valuable life experience while participating in study abroad programs and undergraduate research as well as through service learning, learning communities, internships and other educational paradigms.
Active engagement is recognized as a key to ensuring that undergraduates get the most out of their educations, Schritter said, and it has proven correlation with on-time graduation.